Collecting and Sharing Public Data
Like many other local governments, the town of Chapel Hill, North Carolina wanted to improve how it used data to improve operations and engage residents. Information such as energy use, air quality, police reports, and zoning maps were siloed across departments and IT platforms, making it difficult to update and share even internally. Even further, leaders were eager to find a way to help their highly-engaged residents access public data and resources like budgets and permits. A town with ambitious smart city goals, Chapel Hill needed a partner to gather information, verify data, and convert it into a secure, interactive tool for public use.
Open Data Platforms Built To Engage The Public
Chapel Hill chose Opendatasoft, a leading software-as-a-service startup, to launch its open data initiative with a custom platform accessible to both internal and external stakeholders. Opendatasoft’s portal provides a centralized data repository, housing over 60 data sets that are verified and maintained by staff across departments - guaranteeing current, quality data. Users can customize dashboards and visualize data through interactive charts, graphs, and maps - making the tool accessible to virtually everyone.
Chapel Hill has seen immediate benefits from the portal, including a decrease in staff time and cost to address information requests from the public. And they see even more opportunity - the portal has revealed new opportunities to scale smart city applications and engage the public on operations and policy.
“Data-driven decisions are better-informed decisions,” said David Green, open data program manager. “And frankly, it’s the right thing to do.”
From Information Overload to Informed Decisions
Increased data-sharing improves governance, planning, and stakeholder engagement. By opening up critical data sets to the public, governments can involve residents in decisionmaking processes that impact theireveryday life. Open data portals are critical for broader sustainability and smart city efforts that rely on information about environmental conditions, transportation trends, public hazards, and more.
But it isn’t just local governments and residents who benefit from Opendatasoft’s solution: producers of large datasets can also use custom platforms to identify problems, analyze trends, and encourage
information-sharing. Electric utilities, for example, can use data-sharing platforms to optimize energy
production and consumption, facilitating the global transition toward sustainable energy.
Opendatasoft is a software company providing platforms that teams use to access, reuse, and share data that grows business. Opendatasoft specializes in cloud-based API and visualizations for non-technical users who want to visualize and share data related to energy, environment, economy, government, health, education, transportation, and more. Opendatasoft’s intuitive platform creates a centralized database that updates in real time and allows users to interact with and share data in the form of graphs, charts, and maps.
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